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Failed to fulfill her/his legal/fiduciary duties, the attorney withdrew from the case. Is she/he entitled to attorney fees?

San Francisco, CA |

Representing the client on a contingent agreement, attorney avoided to respond to the new discovery sets propounded upon. Keeping the client uninformed until mailing the client the case file!

The defendants contacted the client directly, and represented the attorney in court hearing all which paved the ground for them to seize the opportunity to file "motion for sanction" and "deem admitted". Not able to undo the damages done to the case it settled for insignificant amount by a new lawyer.
While agreeing in several emails to waive fees, the former attorney now using fees to pressure and to coerce the client into signing a release and to waive any rights.
Has such attorney violated ethics rules or rules of professional conducts? If in violation can such attorney still be entitled to fees?

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Attorney Answers 1


The rule in NY is that an attorney who commits malpractice forfeits any right to legal fees and can be forced to disgorge (pay back) fees. CA may differ but I doubt it. .

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